What You Need to Know Before Choosing Video Editing Software

As this article states, talent and equipment are both important but to really excel in a creative environment, editing software is also crucial. Without getting into the talent vs. tools argument it is indisputable that editing software is useful to realising a creative vision. Some of these tools can be complicated, or at least require a lot of knowledge to fully understand and use them. Our Adobe Photoshop Training and Advanced Photoshop Training courses are designed to teach delegates the ins and outs of Photoshop and start using it like a professional. 

7 Simple Questions You Should Always Ask When Choosing Video Editing Software

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Lights, camera, action! Not that long ago those words were only heard on the back lots and sound stages of big-budget studios.  Today, thanks to dramatic advances in digital video technology, almost anyone can shoot, edit and share studio quality movies. All it takes is a little talent, decent equipment, and the right editing software to deliver a polished professional product. Assuming that you’re good to go in the talent and equipment departments, let’s direct our focus on editing software. With lots of video editing products to choose from, the challenge is finding the product best suited to your needs. To help move the selection process along, here are 7 simple questions you need to ask yourself when choosing video editing software.

1. What kinds of projects do I plan to do?

Before choosing any video editing tool it’s critical to determine what kinds of projects you will actually be doing. Do you plan on pursuing film-making as a career, meaning that you anticipate tackling ambitious, complex productions, or are you more of a hobbyist who enjoys making and sharing short films with friends and family? Although hobbies can become professions, when it comes to filmmaking, being as honest with yourself as you can from early on will help you to avoid picking software that is either too basic or too advanced to meet your editing needs.

2. What can my computer handle?

When choosing any editing software package you have to factor in your current computer’s ability to handle it. If you are leaning toward a fairly sophisticated editing software package that comes with specific system requirements that your computer honestly can’t handle, then you are faces with two choices: 1.Upgrade your computer to accommodate the software, or 2. Scale down the software to accommodate the computer you’ll be running it on. Purchasing software that your computer isn’t cut out for will most likely end up turning whatever movie you’re editing into a “disaster” movie, i.e. Crash of the Computers!

3. How good are my current editing skills?

So, you’ve got yourself a smokin’ computer that can handle pretty much any software package out there. The next thing you have to honestly address is just how good your editing skills really are. If you are in the beginning stages of shooting and editing video, then you need to make sure that the program you choose is as user-friendly as possible. Even at the basic level, editing is a multi-step process and you don’t want to invest in software that is over your head. If you go with more sophisticated software than you are currently familiar with, just make sure that it comes with a good support system, such as tutorials, forums, FAQ’s and tech support.

4. What are my video capture needs? 

Although you may be primarily shooting video on one device, such as a camcorder, you should consider choosing video editing software that is capable of capturing video from multiple sources, such as computer hard drives, digital cameras, cell phones, tablet computers and more. Software with multi-source video capturing capability will give you more flexibility and options as your film making tastes and talents evolve.

5. What kind of playback can I expect?

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The video editing process is challenging enough without having to deal with poor quality playback. When working with playback that is “skippy” or “choppy” it becomes difficult to determine if the problem lies with the source of the video or the editing software itself. Make sure you choose software that supports smooth playback, as it will make the editing process a while lot easier.

6. What basic tools do I need?

When choosing video editing software you want to make sure you’ll have the basic tools to help you create professional looking videos. Look for software with editing modes for storyboards and timelines. Tools for trimming, cutting and splitting video clips are also very important. Title editors, menus, lighting effects, plus the ability to add and edit music are also must-haves for providing professional production values that will make your video stand out.

7. How do I plan to watch and share my videos with others?

Thanks to   advances in technology, video sharing via the internet has exploded exponentially. And while editing software is mostly about creating great videos, it also plays a major role in the sharing process. Make sure you choose software that provides multiple ways to share your work using the most popular formats. For example, if you plan on “premiering” your videos on YouTube you’ll need the FLV flash format. Other popular formats include, but are not limited to, MPEG (versions 1,2 and 4), AVI, WMV, MOV and DVD.

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